Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"You WILL Need This"

This is a post to all the new mommies or mommies-to-be out there...


What do I absolutely need?
What can I do without?
What is a non-essencial, but nice thing to have for a new baby?

If you are expecting a baby, you have probably thought about some of these questions. If you are expecting for the second or third time, you are probably wondering what you will do differently this time around. Am I right?

I really haven't had a lot of time to think about this and so I want to start a little "dialog" here.

One of the contributors of this blog, Camila Amorim, is expecting her first baby and she asked me if we could write about this topic.

So here we go:

Just the other day I found this website called simple mom and she wrote an article called "The things you don't need (but they say you do) for a new baby." And here's her list:

1. More than one stroller
2. Shopping cart cover
3. Baby wipe warmers
4. Full-size highchair
5. Diaper pail
6. Baby detergent
7. Changing table
8. Glider
9. Baby lotion

(If you are interested in reading her reasons, click here to see the original post).

Well, I am almost embarrassed to admit, I bought every-single-one of the things on her "You Don't Need" list - except the glider anyway (My mother-in-law still had the rocking chair she used with her last baby, and that's what I used).

Here is what I think:

I bought a travel system (stroller/car seat combo) with my first child, but I sold it when I moved back to Brazil. I brought a "double stroller" to Brazil instead, so I could haul around my two kids at the samem time (I was expecting my second when we moved here, and my daughter was only 15-months-old when Eric was born so we really needed it). After they graduated from the "double stroller" (we rarely use it anymore, it's too heavy and I never go out by myself anyway), we bought two Maclaren Quest strollers which are the BEST strollers EVER! I absolutely love them and I am so glad we purchased them even though they were a little pricey (around $250 each). They are light-weight and fold so easily. They are so easy to manuever and they just glide so smoothly. I don't regret buying the "double stroller" first though, it really helped us a LOT. Sometimes I wish I had a double Maclaren stroller for when I go out by myself, but like I said, that rarely ever happens.

(This is the exact one Jasmine has, and Eric has a brown-and-blue one).

When it comes to strollers, I believe every situation is different - it really depends I guess. All I can say is, take some time to really consider what will work best for your situation.

I think for my next child I am going to get something like this:

Maclaren's Easy Traveler. Can you tell I just love this brand? A woman at my church has this stroller, and it looks like it's so light, and it has this huge, oversized basket underneath it. The only problem is, I'm not sure it comes with a cup holder, which is the ONE thing I really miss from having a "travel system". It says on the description it comes with one, but I can't see it in this picture.

I already have a Graco carseat I could use with this stroller, and best of all, it's only $88!!

For 1st time mothers, if I would have known how bulky those travel systems can get, I would definitely just purchase a carseat and this (and then later on, a light-weight stroller).

I bought a shopping cart cover and I thought it was nice because my kids like putting their mouths on the handle - GROSS! I'm no germophobic but I do think it's gross. And plus, you can hang toys and stuff on it to keep your child entertained. Another thing I really liked, there's a little pocket where you can put your car keys in as soon as you lock the door (which was GREAT for me since I hate trying to find my keys in my purse everytime I leave a store).

Truth is, it's not all that necessary, but it's nice to have.

I also bought a baby wipe warmer and I don't think it is necessary if you live anywhere outside of Idaho. It was nice to have when Jasmine was a newborn and she would cry everytime I wiped her bottom with the cold wipes. I wasted too much time trying to warm them up in my own hands like Simple Mom suggests, and I don't think it really helped. I used it during the winter months and when she was really little. I didn't use it with Eric and my husband hated it because he said it made the wipes dry out.

I have had 3 full-sized highchairs in the past 2 years and I think I'm just plain stupid. I will get rid of them and will never buy them ever again! They take up SO much space, the child gets isolated from the rest of the family during family dinners, and I always trip over it and hurt myself! Once I even broke my big toe nail in half!

Booster seats work great. We have one at my parent's house and I love it, I wish I had 2 of them at my own house. I even think all the messes they make when they eat would be easier to clean if they both ate at the table because the food wouldn't fall on the floor so much.

This fisher price booster seat (the same one my parents have) only costs $19.99!! You attach it to a chair and it works like a high chair when they are little, and when they get older, you can remove the tray and it works as a booster seat at the table.

I bought the Diaper Genie II and I liked it when the my kids were newborn babies and their poop didn't stink so much, but now I have to keep it outside because I can't stand the smell. So it is nice to have for a while, but if you don't mind going outside and using a regular trash can just for the diapers, I don't think you really NEED this.

Baby Trend Diaper Champ Delux ($34.99)

I don't use baby detergent anymore, but when my kids were born, and up until they were about 6 months to 12-months-old, I used it just because a baby's skin is so delicate and I just think regualar detergent can be too agressive on their skin. Baby detergent has less ingredients that would more likely irritate a baby's skin. You can also use coconut detergent, although I'm not sure if they have that in the USA.

Simple Mom's reasoning behind not getting a changing table was because she believes a dresser with a changing pad on top works just fine, and it's better because it's 2 in 1. I totally agree with her if you already have a dresser, but if you don't, you can buy a dresser that has a changing table on top. I believe having a changing table is a necessity, otherwise you'll kill your back trying to change you children on the bed, couch or floor (pleeeease don't ever change your baby on the floor without a pad or something... I think it's gross)!

We bought this one from Wal-mart for Jasmine, and we still have it, but both the drawers are broken (the front of the drawers came unglued and came off), and it's not very well made. It broke when she was only like, 3 months old, too. I should've returned it, I know.

I didn't have a rocking chair when Jasmine was born, my mother-in-law gave us hers after a while, but I didn't really need it because I didn't nurse her. I would bottle-feed her on the couch or on my bed (which I also did in the middle of the night with Eric when I nursed him), so I guess you'll only really use this during the day, and that is IF you have company or something. I don't know, I guess it's nice to have because it's comfortable for the mom, but I don't really think it's necessary, especially if you're on a tight budget.

Her reasoning behind not purchasing baby lotion was because she doesn't believe babies need lotion when they're little because they already have the softest skin ever. Well, I disagree. Even at the hospital they gave me this special lotion to put on Eric's skin because it was peeling so much. I think you should be careful with which ones you use during the first few months (I would use a very nutral one, probably even unscented), but I always useed lotion after I gave the kids baths. Jasmine also has very dry skin - especially during the winter - and her skin gets so dry it cracks sometimes. I think this woman probably lives in a more humid area, so it all depends on the situation I guess.

Boy, I wrote so much! It's almost one o'clock in the morning here in Brazil and I'm tired! And I tend to make lots of grammar mistakes when I'm tired so please forgive me.

Okay mommies, what are your thoughts?


Anna said...

I mostly agree with you Aline. A lot of things are definitely musts like car seats and strollers but other it really depends on each of us and our kids. Thomas never put his mouth on the handles of the shopping cart, so even though I bought one, I ended up never using it.

I am totally with you with the changing table, you really don't NEED one. Put a pad on top of a dresser and you're good.

Swings are definitely a "want" but a very handy one at that. I got one from my aunt and it was used like nothing else. Thomas slept so well on it that it even ended up being used more than his bassinet!

I also agree with the high chair. I hate that Thomas is so "far" from us while we eat. It's award now that he eats by himself while we eat and it doesn't feel like he is with us. For the twins I plan on just getting one of the high chair looking things but that sit on a chair. And hopefully Thomas can soon graduate to a regular booster seat and be part of our family meals!

It's funny how with our first kid we have all these ideas of what we NEED and can't do without. But once the second comes we realize how so many of these NEEDS were mostly wants or ended up not even being used at all.

I'm really glad that I was able to borrow so much and get so many hand me downs in terms of gear because it not only saved me a ton but it also helped if I realized I really didn't need it.

So my advice is: If you're in doubt with some expensive WANT, like a glider, or a swing/bouncer or whatever, check to see if there isn't someone whom you can borrow it from, give it a try and see if you really think you NEED it, and if you do, by all means - get it!

RBR Price said...

GREAT GREAT GREAT!!1 I loved it!!! You said everything I would say about baby gear. I totally support the opinion of not buying a travel system, because I bought one and althought it is a really good one, I have having to carrying it around or taking the stroller out of the trunk. So now we have a Maclaren lightweight stroller and I wish I new all this before I had my daughter. I would buy the "frame" just for the car seat and buy a lighweight stroller later.
I never had a diaper gennier, neither cart cover, nor wipes warmer. Rachel never complaint about the cold wipes, althought I was the one feeling sorry for her..but I think she just got used to them being cold right?
The cart cover really is something unnecessary. Maybe if I had money I would buy...but Rachel never really liked to be in shopping carts anyways.
Diaper genies may be great, but my little pail that I change everyday works just fine. I put the pee diapers on a pail next to the changing table, and the poop diaper i put directly on a big trash can that is at our laundry room (the trash can has lid) and we take the trash outside every other day.
Rachel's crib has a changing table attached to it, and I chose that for lack of space in her old room, in another house we lived in. Now her room is big enough that we could put 3 cribs inside and still have place for all that comes with it...lol!!! So, I like changing tables because it really helps to keep diapers and wipes in its place and you have a specific place to change your kid..instead of just changing anywhere around the house and, of course, your back will thank you for not bending over everytime to change the kid. However, I used to live in a two-store house and Rachel's room was upstairs, so I was always changing her in couch (using a changing pad underneath, but I dont really care if I have to change her and I dont have a changing pad on hand!).

Aline Carson said...

Beka, I meant on the floor! It just bothers me to see people changing their newborn baby on the dirty carpet without a changing pad. Dang, maybe I AM a germophobic!

Paty said...

I agree that there are a lot of things you need and many others that are totally just wants. I really didn't buy a lot of wants, I just stuck to the bare essentials.

I only have one stroller. A graco duo glider because we have twins. Fortunately for us, we received it as one of our baby shower presents. The stroller is not really heavy and it's pretty easy to maneuver. It's also great when shopping cause it's narrow and you can move through ailes easily. At first I considered just the frame of a stroller but then I figured I would have to buy actual strollers for when they weren't in carseats and I just didn't want to deal w/ extra gear that would just sit there.

I don't have a shopping cart cover, but I also don't totally see the need for it. I usually carry a little container with disinfectant wipes and wipe the handles or edges of the cart. When my girls were little, I would put both carseats in the shopping cart, Later I would just sit them on the big basket of the cart and they would get distracted making noises w/ groceries. Also, when they were younger I would make sure they had a binki in their mouths so they wouldn't get tempted to suck on anything else.

The baby wipe warmer was also a gift and it worked great for the first months. I think this is good if you live in cold areas like Idaho, Utah, etc. but is not a must. If you do get one, just make sure you keep the pad in it moist, make sure your hands are washed when you put wipes in so that you are not putting in any bacteria, clean the warmer every so often and replace the pad when recommended.

I have two full size high chairs and I too wish that I had the little booster seats instead. For us is not really an issue about the kids being away from us when we are eating, because we pull the high chairs up to the table. I don't even think it's an issue about the mess they make, because there will be a mess regardless (unless you are feeding your kid). I just think the booster seats are a better option because you can take them w/ you when you are away from home.

We have a diper genie II (a gift as well), I used this A LOT when the girls were just a few months old. It was great because it literally kept smells away. Nowadays I don't use it as much because the diapers my girls use are bigger and the diaper genie fills up faster. It really is not a pain to change the bag, but I just figure it's easier to throw the diaper in the trash. The problem with that is that you have to take the trash out a lot, cause it will stink up the place.

I bought me a big box of baby detergent and used it for the firsts months. When the box ran out, I just used regular detergent.

I bought a used changing table/dresser that matches our cribs. Now, I don't really use the changing table cause my girls are heavier, and it's easier to change them on the floor. I use the dresser though so I think this is a good buy.

I don't have a glider and I survived. I always nursed/fed the girls on the couch or bed. I've always wanted a glider though, just cause they are comfy at all times, not just when you have a baby in your arms, but that's a want...and I want one bad. hehehe

I also received a nursing pillow, not the typical boppy pillow. I think it's called my brest friend or something like that. It's got back support for the mom while you breastfeed and extra pockets for bottles or whatever. Anyway, I never used it...seriously not even once. Maybe it works good when you just have to nurse one baby, but when nursing twins at the same time...it does not work. Regular pillows were my best friend instead.

I agree with what Anna said, borrow stuff and see if it works for you before you buy it. Just remember to take extra care of the stuff you borrow ;)

There really are a lot of extra stuff you can do without, maybe stick to the essentials and then see what's needed later.

Cacah said...

Realmente, quando a gente eh mae de primeira viagem, naum temos a menor ideia do que devemos e precisamos comprar. Eu fiquei completamente perdida quanto ao que comprar, e via as listas de sugestoes das lojas e na internet, e tinha mais um monte de nome que eu nunca tinha ouvido falar... No fim percebi que a gente soh sabe mesmo o que vai usar ou naum quando eles nascem. Por sorte eu soh comprei o que achei extremamente necessario e depois fui comprando as coisas de acordo com a necessidade que eu via.
Bom, quanto ao carrinho, eu comprei um travel system e por mais que muitas vezes ele seja grande demais para colocar no porta mala, a gente escolheu um que eu pudesse abrir e fechar com uma mao soh, entaum eh bem simples. E no comeco, quando a Melissa ainda era bem pequenina, era soh pegar o bebe conforto (que eh a cadeirinha que se encaixa para usar no carro) e encaixar no carrinho, e se ela estiver dormindo, eh soh levar o bebe conforto. Pra mim foi o melhor que poderia ter comprado. A unica coisa que senti falta no carrinho foi o fato de o braco que a gente usa pra empurrar o carrinho naum mudar de posicao, para que a Melissa possa ficar virada pra mim ou para a rua.
Shopping car cover, nunca nem ouvi falar! levo o carrinho mesmo.
Baby wipe warmer, hahaha dei risada quando vi que isso existia, caramba, como inventam um milhao de coisas. Eu nem uso baby wipes, soh pra sair. Em casa eu tenho uma vasilhinha pra pegar agua quente e limpar com algodao. Acho que a pele do bebe fica menos irritada, sem todos aqueles cosmeticos e tal que colocam nos wipes. A Melissa nunca ficou assada, ateh hj.
Quanto a High chair, considerei um produto indispensavel. Eu quis de qualquer jeito. Como tenho uma mesa na cozinha, Melissa fica lah com gente, come, nos comemos junto. E comprei uma que eu posso retirar a mesinha, e mudar a cadeira de altura, pra se encaixar na mesa de jantar, quando tiver mais pessoas em casa. Ateh cheguei a ver um booster, mas sei lah, preferi o cadeirao. Mas ocupa mais espaco, logico.
Quanto a lixeira, pra mim naum tem nada mais pratico, e eu troco o lixo todo dia, deixo um cheirinho no fundo da lixeira. Soh agora que o poop da Melissa tah mudando, entaum vamos ver daqui pra frente.
Uso um detergente liquido para as roupas e uso o mesmo pra todas as roupas, minhas e da Melissa. No comeco ateh usei sabao de coco, mas tinha que lavar as roupas da Melissa separado de todas, e nem enchia 1/5 da maquina, entaum ninguem merece.
Comprei uma comoda, onde eu posso colocar uma almofadinha em cima e trocar a Melissa em cima. Ninguem merece trocar o nenem na cama, haja coluna.
A poltrona, desnecessario pra mim. De madrugada, pego a Melissa e levo pra cama, ou pra sala, onde eu posso ligar a tv pra naum dormir com ela no peito. Fora que os bracos atrapalham um pouco na posicao de amamentar. Nem a almofada de amamentar eu usei, Melissa usou mais pra brincar que eu.
E onde eu moro eh um forno, Melissa tah cheia de bolinhas de calor. Entaum eu soh uso um sabonete com hidratante para bebes (Dove) e eh suficiente.
Nuh, escrevi outro post....

Os Amorims said...

WOW! As I was reading this post, I told my husband he needs to read it too!! A couple of weeks ago we made a list of things we think or thought we should buy and this post got me thinking a lot about what I am going to buy. now. I loved that you guys said that it's good to wait a while before buying everything, I was really planning on buying everything before my baby comes. I hadn't thought about the shopping cart cover or the baby wipe warmer or even the diaper pail, LOL. And the travel system? It's or was the first on the list... but I really want to take a look at the Maclaren's Travel System, it looks very interesting, I had never seen it! Thanks so much, girls!! I will be probably asking you about other stuff too!! Your comments have REALLY helped, thanks Aline for posting about this! =)))

RBR Price said...

hahaha, Aline, eu entendi q era no chao..Quando a Rachel era newborn eu TINHA q colocar um pad embaixo porque ela muitas vezes fazia coco BEM na hora q eu tava trocando, dai sujava tudo.. Entoa eu SEMPRE usava um pad embaixo. Dai, com o tempo, ela foi ficando grande e o pad ocupada muito espaco na minha bolsa, entao eu comecei a deixar em casa. Mas eu tento sempre trocar num lugar limpinho... e colocar alguma protecao. Em casa, eh soh mesmo na changing table.
Oh, I forgot to say that although you dont REALLY need a changing table and you could just put a changing pad on top of the dresser, dont forget to, somehow, fasten the changing pad to the dresser...or the pad can not be in the right place and fall. :)

Trevor, Kika, Olivia said...

I like this post, but I also think that a lot of times we go with what we can afford, adn then we find out we didn't NEED something we thought we needed, cuz we did perfectly fine without.

I agree with Anna when she said if you think you need something, borrow it and see if it works for you. Everyone told me to get a swing and a bouncer and a boppy pillow. Since these are expensive (in my opinion) I borrowed them to see if Olivia would NEED them and guess what... she didn't. She hated them. She did love her floor gym thing, which i think really helped her develop hand eye coordination too.

As to he diaper wipes, I wanted one but my motherinlaw taught me to warm the wipes in the microwave for a minute, PERFECT! They didn't get dry and it was a fast fix :)

Something that we must remember is that when WE were babies, 90% of the gear you see today didn't exist, adn we did perfectly fine. Our moms were creative! Yes there are some toys that I want Olivia to have because I think it will help her develop and learn about the world, but does she NEED them? A want versus a need... it's in the root of it all.

New moms, I think, need to learn that what the child needs is LOVE, food, diapers, clothing. O resto eh resto ;)

Trevor, Kika, Olivia said...

freak, I can't think and type,
i meant as to the WIPES WARMER...